Kampala Geopolitics Conference

The Future of Aid: Administering the bitter medicine?

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With the introduction of the post-2015 goals and targets, traditional aid models of North-to- South transactions were coined outdated. Bilateral and multilateral donors have for several decades provided massive volumes of assistance to support developing countries. This has contributed to the reduction of poverty, improvement of social infrastructure and in some countries to a successful transformation of the entire economy. But critical voices highlight shortcomings in aid effectiveness and point out that in spite of large volumes of aid the results remain far behind expectations and key problems in the developing world remain unsolved. Moreover, the modalities of aid have been questioned, especially the conditionalities attached by Western donors. There have been continuous efforts to reform development assistance over the last two decades – towards more coordination, coherence and local ownership. At the same time, new models are coming up, such as modern ideas of global philanthropy and more private sector- focussed approaches. And new powerful players have entered the arena: countries like China, India and Brazil have started shaking up the donor landscape. What does all this mean for the future of aid? Is development aid a solution or part of the problem? What needs to happen in order for aid to be more effective? And what is the motivation of the donors? Is development aid a tool of geopolitical power play?

Meet the Panelists